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South Ayrshire: Latest Posts

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Garleffin (Standing Stones) — Fieldnotes

Visited 28.7.15

South of the A77 along a minor road at Garleffin - a short distance south of the village of Ballantrae.

The stones are easy to spot in the garden of the end bungalow. One stone is in the front lawn, the larger stone is along the side of the house. The stones are approximately 1.5m high and 0.5m wide. The tops of the grey stones are covered in moss. The stones are very easy to see from the road outside the house.
Posted by CARL
28th July 2015ce

Craigs of Kyle (Rocking Stone) — Folklore

The Canmore site record calls this 'The Witch's Stone'.
On the top of the Craigs of Kyle there was, in former times, a chapel dedicated to Saint Bride. The only vestige of it now remaining is the well, which is still called Saint Bride's Well. No notice is taken of this ancient place of worship in Chalmer's Caledonia, or the Statistical Account of Scotland: but it is worthy of remark, from the existence of another remain of antiquity which has hitherto escaped the observation of topographical or antiquarian writers. This is a Rocking-Stone -- adding another to the many proofs, that the early propogators of Christianity invariably planted the Cross where the inhabitants had been in the habit of assembling under the Druidical form of worship.

The Rocking-Stone occupies the summit of the highest of the Craigs. It is an exceedingly large elongated block of granite, but must have been at one time much larger, as several pieces seem to have fallen from it through the action of the weather, being much exposed to the moisture and storms of the west.

We regret our inability to take an accurate measurement of the stone at the time of our visit, not having been aware of the existence of such a relic. Tradition is silen in reference to it, though it is pointed out as a curiosity by the people in the vicinity. There can be no doubt, however, of its Druidical character. Although it has now lost its vibrating power, being propped up by stones, the pivot is easily discernible.
From The Scottish Journal, 1848.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
16th May 2013ce

Spy Knowe (Cairn(s)) — Folklore

This bump in the landscape seems to consist of Spy Knowe (crowned by a cairn) and the slightly higher top of Green Hill. This area's landscape features in the Ayrshire ballad 'The Laird o' Changue', which is reproduced here in the Scottish Journal (issue 3, 1847). The notes explain some folklore associated with the top of (what I infer to be) this hill. I am resisting any unwarranted comparisons with the shape of cup and ring marks.
On the conical top of the green hill of Craganrarie, where the indomitable Changue took up his position, are two foot-prints, which tradition asserts to be his, indented deeply in the surface, and around which, at about a sword's length from the centre, are the "two rings" or circles which he drew around him, also strongly marked in the sward. Neither on them, nor on the foot-prints, does the grass ever grow, although it thrives luxuriantly around the very edges of the mysterious markings.
Canmore's record notes that a Langdale/Scafell greenstone axe was found close by the hill in the 1920s.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
14th May 2013ce

Dinvin (Hillfort) — Images (click to view fullsize)

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26th July 2011ce

Dinvin (Hillfort) — Links


Some incredible aerial shots of this stunning hillfort on the canmore site.
Howburn Digger Posted by Howburn Digger
26th July 2011ce

Knockdolian (Cairn(s)) — Folklore

I can't find a story for the hill of Knockdolian itself, but I was here in the summer, and it's the most stupendous landmark, looking just like the nearby giant limpet-shaped island of Ailsa Craig from some angles. I liked the hill a lot and I imagine the views from the top would be marvellous. It's topped by a 'grass covered cairn .. composed of large and small stones, with rock outcrop protruding in places.. 2m high.. a few large kerb stones are visible', according to the info on Coflein. But here's some local stoney folklore:
An old family once lived in a house called Knockdolion, which stood on the banks of the Water of Girvan in Ayrshire. There was a black stone at the end of the house, and a mermaid used to come and sit on it, combing her hair and singing for hours on end. The lady of the house could not get her baby to sleep because of the loud singing of the mermaid, so she told her men-servants to break up the stone. This they did, and when the mermaid came on the night that followed she found no stone to sit upon. She at once flew into a rage, and cried to the lady of the house:-

Ye may think on your cradle-
I think on my stane;
There will ne'er be an heir
To Knockdolian again.

Not long after this the baby died. He was the only child in the house and when his father and mother died the family became extinct.
A harsh punishment but you mustn't go messing with stones.

From 'Wonder Tales from Scottish Myth and Legend' by Donald Alexander Mackenzie (1917).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
24th October 2010ce
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